Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi
Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi was born in Italy on July 4, 1950. At the age of four he emigrated with his family to the Lakes District of northern British Columbia where he spent his childhood and early teens. His family then moved in 1965 to Vancouver, Canada, where he completed his secondary education.
In 1968 he embarked on the B.A. program at the University of British Columbia, and he graduated in 1972 from the Faculty of Arts with a major in English Literature. After a year's social work, he entered the Professional Development Program of the Education Faculty at Simon Fraser University. Having concentrated in the field of Special Education, he graduated with honors in the summer of 1974.
During his final semester at S.F.U., he converted to Islam. After living in the Muslim community of Vancouver for a year, he felt the need to further his Islamic education. He traveled to Mecca during Ramadan of 1976 in order to perform hajj and to apply for admission to a program of Arabic and Islamic studies. He entered the Arabic Language Institute at Umm al-Qura University and completed the language program in two and a half years.
In May 1989, he obtained a Master's Degree in Quranic Sciences from Umm al-Qura University. A few weeks later, he passed away at the age of 39, leaving behind five children. During his life, he wrote a number of treatises on various Islamic topics and was actively engaged in writing, translating and dawah work.